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Jack O Lanterns 2

I now know that one of the ways to access the joy inside my body is to do something creative. For me specifically this means making something tangible and aesthetically pleasing, using my own two hands. This could be cooking (if it doesn’t take too long) or drawing (I never knew this about myself, but I now keep both a lined journal for writing prose and poetry, and a plain paper journal for drawing out ideas and brainstorming concepts for my business using colored pencils and markers) or crafts (see my earlier post on how I made the Turtle Steps Award for my students primarily as an outlet for my unbridled anger).

So this weekend was Halloween! I spent both days from 10am to 5:30pm in a drumming workshop with Glen Velez. More on him later (summary: it was amazing, I bought a frame drum and two of his books, and let’s just say you will be seeing me doing more drumming in my life). But I spent Halloween night hanging with my sweetie and making the most intricately carved pumpkins we have ever made. He tracked down some “age 12 and over” pumpkin carving kits, which included elaborately designed patterns for carving. For his own, he carved his company logo, which he enlarged and printed out, creating his own pattern. At first the competitive juices were flowing (check out pictures of the process here), but in the end, we were each happy with our results. I was cursing those little windows in the haunted house, and every little turn that defined the roof lines of the house. And forget about the curve in that spooky ghost’s tail. But in the end, I loved the pumpkin so much I decided that I wanted to just sit and enjoy the candlelight of the pumpkins instead of going out for a slice of pie. Now THAT is joy. Read the rest of this entry »


Tomorrow morning I start a two-day drumming and overtone workshop with Glen Velez, a Grammy-award winning percussionist. What a great start tonight was.

My ears are ringing — happily — from Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits, a project originally named “Anthropofagia”, after a Brazilian cultural movement from the 1920s, when artists rebelled against “official” art that came from Europe and claimed that the Brazilian character was the regurgitation of all the ingested cultures from that time – Afro-Brazilian, indigenous native culture, and Portuguese/other European.

This from the program notes:

The band members consider themselves cultural cannibals — the music is a manifestation of the process of eating, swallowing, and digesting all the tendencies that are part of the sonic landscape and environment. It is the product of all the sounds that they have collectively consumed over the years; some were digested and others have been rejected. After all is said and heard, it becomes difficult to identify what belongs to what country, culture, or religion.

Love that. It’s kind of a foreshadowing perhaps of the new American culture – if we can digest all the different influences and allow individuals to regurgitate their own unique versions of all this diversity, we have the opportunity to create some truly unique art. It also reminds me of what my half-Chinese niece said when she saw a mosquito bite on my neck: “Mosquitoes like to bite my Daddy too! They must like Chinese food! You’re Chinese too, right?” Already she is digesting the concept of a mixed cultural diet. I love it.

I have to stop writing right now because words get in the way of the sounds that are filling my entire being right now.

I am basking in it. My ears feel alive. My body wants to move. And now it’s time to go to sleep!

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August 2019
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